Although building design defects are common, most are small and insignificant. But there are occasions where building design defects are more serious, with risks of damage to the property or injuries to the occupants.
Some issues are dealt with at the time of construction. But in many cases, these defects are usually discovered long after construction is completed, and remedial work is more difficult. Bringing these claims can be a difficult and expensive task.
Two Types Of Building Design Defects
There are generally two types of defects:
- Patent defects, which are easily observed during a visual inspection
- Latent defects, which are not easily observed and go undiscovered until post-construction
These defects can take the form of:
- Cosmetic/aesthetic issues
- Water infiltration/intrusion, leading to mildew/mold development
- Excessive movement of the foundation
- Structural integrity and instability
- Glass, windows, and doors
- Roof problems
- Code violations
They can appear during construction or post-construction, leading to claims and remedial work.
Bad or improper design can lead to more than just an aesthetic problem. They can lead to structural failures if a foundation isn’t properly installed, weight-bearing walls or joists that don’t hold up, or roofs that don’t keep out the elements when needed. When inferior or substandard materials are used, the home or other structure can slowly disintegrate until a major problem presents itself, such as a wall collapsing or significant roof damage after a storm. These events could also lead to injuries to the inhabitants.
Architects, contractors, and builders must also pay attention to things like water tables, land grades, and issues related to earth settlement to ensure that the structure will be stable. If the land underneath the structure shifts, it could destabilize the building. This could lead to wall cracks, water leakage, drafts, and other serious structural problems that could also injure anyone inside.
What this means to a homeowner is that their home isn’t the safe and secure haven they’d planned on. Defects may be serious enough to make the home uninhabitable, forcing the occupants to evacuate for alternate housing.
Who Is Responsible?
Finding the point at which the defective design occurred can be a lengthy process. Was it at the initial design level, or later during the building process?
Design and construction defects happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- The architect and/or engineer specifies a material not suitable for the project or fails to specify any material.
- Poor construction project management by the contractor, subcontractor, or other involved parties
- Substandard workmanship and quality control on the part of the contractor
- The contractor failed to follow the prescribed installation or construction guidelines
- The contractor and/or subcontractor uses substandard materials to reduce costs.
- The material used in the project was defective, insufficient, or substandard.
When a property owner suffers injuries or other losses as a result of design and building defects, they will need to file a claim against the responsible party. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as a car accident, since the investigation is needed to determine the responsible party as well as the source of the defect.
Working with a lawyer who understands construction and building design defects can help you find the source of the defect to discover the party responsible.
Building Design Defects Lawyer In Charleston, WV
If a company has done substandard work on your home, business, or other property, it’s up to you to get the compensation you need to get the work done correctly.
Work with a Charleston, WV lawyer who has the experience and understanding to help with building design defects and defective workmanship cases. Contact Chad Love at The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 for a free consultation.